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Haller Professorship in Pediatric Neurologic Diseases

HallerVirginiaVIRGINIA DORIOT HALLER began her remarkable life as the daughter of a general physician and surgeon in the coalfields of Pocahontas, Virginia. At a time when few women attended college, she graduated from Randolph-Macon Women’s College and received a master’s degree in Latin and the classics from Columbia University, followed by post-graduate studies in Rome. After a long and illustrious teaching career in several boarding schools, she retired to her home in Salem, Virginia, where she remained active in civic affairs, especially with the Virginia Historical Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Although Miss Haller was not schooled in medicine, it was her observation and belief that many degenerative disorders of the mind had hereditary and genetic origins. Since her father had died from Parkinson’s disease and her mother from Alzheimer’s, she wanted to leave her resources to support neurological research. When she died at age 97, she left funds to endow this chair to foster clinical and laboratory research on neurological diseases. She also wished to honor the generations of Hallers who have been physicians and dentists, including her nephew, J. Alex Haller Jr., Med 1951, a Hopkins professor emeritus of pediatric surgery; his wife, Emily HallerĀ (both pictured here, with Dr. Harvey Singer, right), a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Hopkins; and their daughter Julia A. Haller and her husband, John D. Gottsch, both of whom are on the Hopkins faculty in ophthalmology.